Guide Routledge Companion to Military Conflict since 1945 (Routledge Companions)

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The first repeating rifle was designed in by a company bought out by Winchester , which made new and improved versions. Springfield rifles arrived in the midth century also.

Machine guns arrived in the late 19th century. Automatic rifles and light machine guns first arrived at the beginning of the 20th century. In the later part of the 19th century, the self-propelled torpedo was developed. The fire lance, the predecessor of the gun, was invented in China between the tenth and eleventh century. The barrel was originally designed out of bamboo shoots, later with metal. Joseph Needham notes "all the long preparations and tentative experiments were made in China, and everything came to Islam and the West fully fledged, whether it was the fire lance or the explosive bomb, the rocket or the metal-barrel handgun and bombard.

Evidence of firearms is found in Iran and Central Asia in the late fourteenth century. It was not until roughly that guns were referenced in India. Reliable references to guns in Russia begins around An illustration of a "pot-shaped gun" found in the Holkham Hall Milemete manuscript dated to shows earliest advent of firearms in European history.

The illustration shows an arrow, set in the pot-shaped gun pointed directly at a structure. Archaeological evidence of such "gun arrows" were discovered in Eltz Castle , "dated by relation to a historical event a feud with the Archbishop of Trier in leading to a siege , seem to confirm again that this was at least one of the types of guns like the Milemete used in these very early examples.

According to Peter Fraser Purton, the best evidence of the earliest gun in Europe is the Loshult gun, dated to the fourteenth century. Discovered in , the Loshult was made of bronze measured A replica of the Loshult was created, using similar gunpowder compounds with present-day materials, to determine the effectiveness of the weapon. The Gunpowder Research Group, who designed the recreation, found that at high elevations, the Loshult could fire as far as meters.

Written works from the Cabinet des Titres of the Imperial Library of Paris has found evidence of canons in France in The works illustrate canons being used on-board ships at the Rouen during that time.

Researchers have been unable to determine the sizes of these canons and others, outside the artifacts recovered. Sir Henry Brackenbury was able to surmise the approximate size of these cannons by comparing receipts for both the firearms and the corresponding amounts of gunpowder purchased.

The receipts show a transaction for "25 Livres for 5 canons. Philip the Bold is credited [ by whom? Philip's development of a large artillery army made the small country a reputable force against larger empires such as England and France. The artillery used to take Odruik used cannonballs measuring to about pounds.

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Large artillery was a major contributing factor to the fall of Constantinople at the hands of Mehmed the Conqueror Having resigned his position as ruler due to youth and inexperience in , Mehmed moved to the Ottoman capital of Manisa. He turned his attention to claiming the Byzantine capital, Constantinople. Mehmed, like Philip, started mass-producing cannons by enticing craftsmen to his cause with money and freedom.

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For 55 days, Constantinople was bombarded with artillery fire, throwing cannonballs as large as lbs at its walls. On May 29, , Constantinople fell into Ottoman control. As guns and artillery became more advanced and prevalent, so to did the tactics by which they were implemented.

According to Historian Michael Roberts " Empires adapted their strongholds to withstand artillery fire. Eventually drilling strategies and battlefield tactics were adapted for the evolution in firearms use. In Japan, at the same time during the sixteenth-century, this military evolution was also taking hold. These changes included a universal adoption of firearms, tactical developments for effective use, logistical restructuring within the military itself, and "the emergence of centralized and political and institutional relationships indicative of the early modern order.

Tactically, beginning with Oda Nobunaga , the technique known as "volleying" or countermarch drills were implemented. The ranks will alternate between loading and firing positions, allowing more consistent rates of fire and preventing enemies from taking over a position while members reload. Historical evidence shows that Oda Nobunaga implemented his volley technique successfully in , twenty years before evidence of such a technique is shown in Europe.

The first indications of the countermarch technique in Europe was by Lord William Louis of Nassau in the mid s. Korea also seemed to be adapting the volley technique, earlier than even the Japanese. Though the Korean's had similar manpower, "the curtain of arrows thrown up by defenders was wiped out by Japanese gunfire. It was Qi Jiguang , a Ming Chinese General that provided the original treatise, disseminated to Koreans, that aided in this venture. In these manuals, Qi " Qi's ethos was one of synthesizing smaller groups, trained in various tactical formations, into larger companies, battalions and armies.

By doing this they could "operate as eyes, hands, and feet At the start of the World Wars, various nations had developed weapons that were a surprise to their adversaries, leading to a need to learn from this, and alter how to combat them.

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Flame throwers were first used in the First World War. The French were the first to introduce the armored car in Then in , the British produced the first armored troop carrier. Many early tanks were proof of concept but impractical until further development. In World War I, the British and French held a crucial advantage due to their superiority in tanks; the Germans had only a few dozen A 7 V tanks, as well as captured tanks.

The British and French both had several hundred each.

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In , the first helicopter flew, but it wasn't practical for usage. Aviation became important in World War I, in which several aces gained fame. In an aircraft took off from a warship for the first time. Landings on a cruiser were another matter. This led to the development of an aircraft carrier with a decent unobstructed flight deck.

Chemical warfare exploded into the public consciousness in World War I but may have been used in earlier wars without as much human attention. The Germans used gas-filled shells at the Battle of Bolimov on January 3, These were not lethal, however. In April , the Germans developed a chlorine gas that was highly lethal, and used it to moderate effect at the Second Battle of Ypres. Gas masks were invented in matter of weeks, and poison gas proved ineffective at winning battles. It was made illegal by all nations in the s. World War II gave rise to even more technology.

The worth of the aircraft carrier was proved in the battles between the United States and Japan like the Battle of Midway.


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Radar was independently invented by the Allies and Axis powers. It used radio waves to detect objects. Molotov cocktails were invented by General Franco in the Spanish Civil War, directing the Nationalists to use them against Soviet tanks in the assault on Toledo. During the Cold War , the main powers engaged in a Nuclear arms race. Other technological advances centered on intelligence like the spy satellite and missiles ballistic missiles , cruise missiles. Nuclear submarine , invented in This meant submarines no longer had to surface as often, and could run more quietly.

They evolved into becoming underwater missile platforms. The influence of technology on military history, and evident Eurocentrism are nowhere more pronounced than in the attempt by the military historians to divide their subject area into more manageable periods of analysis. While general discipline of history subdivides history into Ancient history Classical antiquity , Middle Ages Europe, 4th century — 15th century , Early Modern period Europe, 14th century — 18th century , Modern era Europe, 18th century — 20th century , and the Post-Modern USA, —present , the periodisation below stresses technological change in its emphasis, particularly the crucial dramatic change during the Gunpowder warfare period.

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Periodisation is not uniformly applied through time and space, affirming the claims of Eurocentrism from regional historians. For example, what might be described as prehistoric warfare is still practised in a few parts of the world. Other eras that are distinct in European history, such as the era of medieval warfare , may have little relevance in East Asia. Much of what we know of ancient history is the history of militaries: their conquests, their movements, and their technological innovations.

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There are many reasons for this. Kingdoms and empires, the central units of control in the ancient world, could only be maintained through military force. Due to limited agricultural ability, there were relatively few areas that could support large communities, so fighting was common. Weapons and armor , designed to be sturdy, tended to last longer than other artifacts, and thus a great deal of surviving artifacts recovered tend to fall in this category as they are more likely to survive.

Weapons and armor were also mass-produced to a scale that makes them quite plentiful throughout history, and thus more likely to be found in archaeological digs. Such items were also considered signs of prosperity or virtue, and thus were likely to be placed in tombs and monuments to prominent warriors.